By default, Windows XP reserves 12.5 percent of each NTFS volume (an area called the MFT zone) for exclusive use of the MFT. So if you plan to store tons of small files (under 8K, say) on your volume, your MFT may run out of space before your volume's free space does, and the result will be MFT fragmentation. To prevent this from happening, you can reserve additional space for the MFT using the fsutil command:
fsutil behavior set mftzone 2
This doubles the size of the reserved MFT zone to 25 percent of the volume. Of course, this means you lose 12.5 percent of the free space used to store files themselves, so there's a trade-off to consider when implementing this change. You can even make more aggressive changes using set mftzone 3, which reserves 37.5 percent of the volume for the MFT, or set mftzone 4, which reserves a whopping 50 percent. These extreme settings are only useful, however, if you have zillions of files, each smaller than about 1K.
To reset the MFT zone size according to your needs, do the following:
Run the fsutil command as described previously.
Reboot your system.
Create the volumes you need.
To return to the default behavior of reserving 12.5 percent of each volume for MFT, use the fsutil behavior set mftzone 1.